Sexual misconduct claims against Met officers reaches ten year high

Sarah Everard was murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens (family handout/CPS/PA) (PA Media)
Sarah Everard was murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens (family handout/CPS/PA) (PA Media)

Sexual misconduct claims against Metropolitan Police officers have reached a decade high after doubling in the year since Sarah Everard was murdered, it has been reported.

Figures reveal that 251 Met officers or staff have faced accusations of sexual assault, harassment or other sexual offences in the past year.

Of those claims, 190 were made internally by staff working for the force – a staggering 104 per cent rise since 2020.

The findings, released to the Telegraph under Freedom of Information laws, are believed to have broken the record for the highest number of sexual assault allegations levelled against members of the force in a single year.

Several of the accused held senior ranks of sergeant or above and around 87 per cent of those accused are men.

It comes after commissioner Dame Cressida Dick stepped down following a series of scandals involving the force, including the murder of Sarah Everard by former Met Officer Wayne Couzens in 2020.

The Met also faced further criticism after the publication of racist and misogynistic messages sent by officers working at a branch in Charing Cross.

Dame Cressida Dick (left) resigned in a shock move last week (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Dame Cressida Dick (left) resigned in a shock move last week (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Harriet Wistrich, founder of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: "The stories of sexual violence by police officers are more than the occasional bad apple, they occur in an environment where the locker room lads culture is tolerated and therefore thrives.”

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), added: “This data reinforces the mountain of evidence showing that the Met has a serious problem with institutional misogyny.

“While the increased number of recorded allegations may in part reflect greater awareness and inclination to report following high profile cases like the murder of Sarah Everard, the data does indicate the scale of sexual offending by Met Police officers.”

Only 11 out of the 217 Met Police officers or staff accused of sexual assault were charged with a crime in the past year.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "The Met has been rocked by a series of awful events, including the appalling behaviour displayed by officers at Charing Cross police station between 2016 and 2018, the murder of Sarah Everard, the outcome of the Stephen Port inquests and the abhorrent actions of PCs Jaffer and Lewis.

"We are acutely aware that these events have deeply damaged the trust and confidence people have in us.

"There is need for real change in our organisation. More than ever before we have been looking at ourselves critically and asking hard questions to improve our culture and professional standards, and we do not underestimate the scale of the change required.

"Part of rebuilding that trust is making it impossible for such behaviour to be seen as acceptable, telling the public where we have got it wrong and what we are doing about it, and removing officers who have behaved in such an awful way. The Independent Office for Police Conduct and others thoroughly scrutinise our actions."